A federal judge has struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban, ruling that it violates the U.S. Constitution.
U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern handed down the ruling Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by two same-sex couples. Kern's ruling was immediately stayed pending appeal, meaning gay marriages won't immediately happen in Oklahoma.
The gay couples had sued for the right to marry and to have a marriage from another jurisdiction recognized in Oklahoma.
A federal judge has rejected a claim by an Oklahoma minister that the image on the state's license plate of a young Apache warrior shooting an arrow skyward conveys a religious message that is counter to his Christian beliefs.
U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton dismissed the claim Tuesday filed against the state by Bethany pastor Keith Cressman.
Heaton wrote there is nothing about the image that suggests the Indian warrior is praying or that the arrow he is shooting is sacred, even though the image is inspired by artist Allan Houser's "Sacred Rain Arrow" sculpture.
"Well-managed dollars committed to infrastructure improvements directly impact our economy and enhance the ability of our industries to transport goods and provide services,” Fallin said. “Investing today in transportation is investing long term in our economic viability and the safety of our citizens."
Ambassador John Limbert and 51 diplomatic and military colleagues were taken prisoner in the former U.S. embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979. They were released 444 days later as Ronald Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1981.
Limbert has never been back to Iran in the 33 years after he boarded the plane for Algeria, even though he married an Iranian woman and his children were born there. He’s now a private citizen, no longer works for the State Department, and has no prohibition on his travel to Iran. But he says he’s not welcome by the Islamic Republic.
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services Developmental Disabilities Services Waiting List has been years in the making. The list serves individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities and his or her family.
Oklahoma’s waiting list is not an entitlement under Medicaid, even though services are provided with Medicaid funding, but many of the services are received via OKDHS. In that manner, Division Director JoAnne Goin said services are entitlements similar to nursing home services.
The Pardon and Parole Board hopes a new Department of Corrections executive director will be receptive to their request to move clemency hearings to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.
Interim Executive Director Tracy George reported Monday she recently had discussed the idea of moving the hearings from the Kate Barnard Community Corrections Center in Oklahoma City to the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. Death row inmates are housed and executed at the maximum security facility in McAlester.
Statues, paintings and other artwork from famed Chiricahua Apache artist Allan Houser will be on display across the state this year, including five monumental-sized sculptures that are being installed at the state Capitol this week.
Those efforts have failed, but the fight will be revived in the 2014 legislative session. Johnston County Commissioners have formally endorsed an organization that will lobby for a tax on sand, silica, gravel and other aggregates, The Oklahoman‘s Adam Wilmoth reports: